Notes of song, appreciation, and thankfulness rang from the gym at Southeast Elementary School on Monday, November 12th for our local and national veterans. The 5th and 6th-grade students began practicing for their Veteran’s concert over six weeks ago and spent time in and out of the classroom working with several different mediums to show their appreciation to our men and women of the armed forces. The Salem community once again partnered with Southeast’s Music Educator, Anne Saltsman, to create several meaningful parts in this event.

To begin, a local Boy Scouts Troop presented the flags and did a short ceremony for all to participate in. Many of the students in this troop are students at the building as well and were excited to bring an extracurricular activity into the concert setting. The 5th and 6th Grade students had memorized all music and began with the traditional Star Spangled Banner. Miss Saltsman was thankful for First Christian Church’s partnership with helping with props and lighting during the students’ song selections. Each veteran was honored with a flower and personalized note during the Armed Forces Medley. Each branch of the military was recognized for their bravery, commitment, and service by a 5th or 6th-grade student.

The students were visibly excited to share the Grand Old Flag Song with the audience as a special flashlight routine was featured during the song selection. The concert continued with the moving words of God Bless the USA along with a powerpoint that had over 70 slides of active and inactive service members who are part of the students’ families and friends. A special instrument display was performed by 20 students. These students practiced these barred instruments outside of the designated class time. Giving up recess and other free time, the students were dedicated to using the new instruments as they were received by the music department from a local grant. Other students created a multimedia presentation of notes and Veteran Day thoughts that were presented as well. Finally, the Stars and Stripes Forever selection finished the concert with the highly anticipated flag routine that the students had practiced diligently. Several talents were showcased this evening, all with one goal which was to honor, recognize, and thank our local veterans. Miss Saltsman was impressed with the students’ hard work and sincerity of truly wanting to create an evening that was not about them but about appreciating Veterans and their hard work and sincerity to our country. Congratulations to over 300 Southeast Students who participated in this community event.